Danger In Retelling

English L100 Essay
“Should I include reconstructed speeches in my autobiography?”

I have covered this question briefly before in a couple other posts. Today I will give a more detailed answer. There are two aspects to this question, if you are going to repeat a conversation that you had with another person would it be better to summarize it or repeat the whole conversation “word for word?”

Previously I have said that it would be a terrible idea to reconstruct a conversation because of the possibility of defrauding someones name if you incorrectly stated something that they said, when they really didn’t say anything of the sort. This could have positive effects on the person, but most likely it would have a negative outcome. This could happen one of two ways, first, if you attempted to summarize the conversation, you could tell it wrong. Second, if you attempted to rewrite the conversation word for word, not to mention the difficulty you would have remembering what words were exchanged, but if you happened to rephrase it incorrectly you could hurt that persons good name if others read what you had written.

So basically, it’s a terrible idea to attempt to reconstruct speeches in your autobiography. If you really want to reconstruct a conversation, it would be much better to write a short summary of the conversation, this would benefit you, this would benefit the reader, and this would benefit the other person that you are quoting.

Readers might find whole conversations boring and tedious. So when incorporating conversations in your autobiography keep it brief and get your point across. If you don’t, it adds very little to your narrative and may cause a reader to put your book back on the shelf. A long conversation you had fifteen years ago might be interesting to you, but holds little value to a reader. So unless the conversation tells something about you, it holds close to no weight. So in a nutshell, be carful when reconstruction conversations or speeches in you narrative. It would be unkindly to hurt someone through your unintentional mistake. To keep your story interesting, you want to write it with the intention of keeping your reader interested, this requires skill and should be a goal for anyone wishing to write there story in the future.




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